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Governor Rendell Says PA ABC Will Help Low-Wage Small Businesses Pay for Employee Health Coverage
Date:5/29/2008

e companies. Employers can participate if they have not offered health care coverage to their employees for at least six months, if they have 50 or fewer employees and, if, on average, these employees earn less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level, or $31,200 per year.

"The New York Times reported that a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that, in the past year, 42 percent of Americans said they or a family member postponed or skipped treatment, did not fill a prescription, cut pills in half or skipped doses, or had problems getting mental health care because they had difficulties affording health care," the Governor said. "That statistic is stunning and troubling."

Because the cost of health care has soared 75 percent over the past five years and wages have only risen 13 percent, thousands of Pennsylvanians are struggling to provide health insurance for their families. According to an Insurance Department study, there are 767,000 uninsured adults in Pennsylvania. Some 70 percent of the uninsured cite cost as the main reason for not having health insurance coverage. Bringing down the cost of coverage would help individuals and small businesses who desperately need coverage.

The Governor said 71 percent of uninsured adults in Pennsylvania are employed, 76 percent of uninsured adults have household incomes of less than $60,000 for a family of four and 27 percent of uninsured adults have been without health care coverage for more than five years.

Families USA released a study that estimates that approximately 710 working-age Pennsylvanians died as a result of lacking health care in 2006, which equals nearly two people every day. Nationally, the lack of health insurance was responsible for twice as many deaths as homicide in 2006.

Prescription for Pennsylvania is Governor Rendell's plan to: ensure access to affordable health insurance for all Pennsylvanians; expand access to health care; improve the quality o
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
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